Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have told Home Ministry officials issues they are facing due to multiple clauses in the drone policy and restrictions on the use of drones in border areas.

All border areas are designated as “red zones,” and no one, except the armed forces, is permitted to fly drones without prior approval from the relevant authorities. In the event of a secret operation, the police must also notify the authorities. According to an official, during anti-Naxal or anti-terror operations, forces are sometimes exposed because the rules require them to share sensitive details such as routes and the purpose of using the drone.

Red zone refers to the airspace of defined dimensions above India’s land areas or territorial waters, or any installation or notified port limits specified by the Central government beyond India’s territorial waters, within which only the Central government will be permitted to operate unmanned aircraft systems.

According to officials, it is impossible to meet the requirements of drone rules when patrolling and operating at borders. Officials also stated that adhering to the policy will reduce the element of surprise during the operation and may expose force movement.